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Average American on Social Security Gets $4 to $5 Monthly Increase in 2017

Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be .3 percent next year for 65 million

COLA for Social Security just adds $5 per month on averageOctober 18, 2016 - The average Social Security retiree will get a $5 per month raise in 2017, says Social Security today, but the Associated Press reports it to be more like $4. The increase cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be .3 percent for the more than 65 million Americans receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, according to information released today by the Social Security Administration.

The COLA will begin with benefits payable to more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2017. More than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin receiving the benefit on December 30, 2016.

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $127,200 from $118,500.

Of the estimated 173 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2017, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. Information about Medicare changes for 2017, when announced, will be available at

Read the Associated Press report saying the average recipient will get just a $4.00 increase.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more,  visit

Click the following for a fact sheet from Social Security showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.

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AARP Response to COLA

“Over the last five years, Social Security COLA’s have remained small or nonexistent at 1.7 percent or lower, even though every cent can matter to beneficiaries and their families. After last year’s zero COLA, this year’s announcement doesn’t offer much help to the millions of families who depend on their Social Security benefits,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.

“As prescription prices skyrocket and Medicare premiums and other health costs increase, many older Americans have understandable concerns. Along with many groups, AARP has also asked Congress to ensure that Medicare premiums and deductibles don't skyrocket next year.

“In our final presidential debate of 2016, we urge the moderator to finally question the candidate on Social Security and get them to Take a Stand. Voters need to hear candidates’ positions on our largest and most important program before they cast their votes.”






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